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I have a table called Products with ID(PK, Clustered), Name, Price, Brand, ...., RetailerID, SKU, ModelNumber. My query have

SELECT .... 
FROM Products 
WHERE RetailerID = @RetailerID AND 
      ( (@SKU != '' AND SKU = @SKU)  OR (@ModelNumber != '' AND ModelNumber = @ModelNumber))

I am going to add index for this query. Should I add 3 indices on RetailerID , SKU and ModelNumber or 2 compound indices on (RetailerID, SKU) and (RetailerID, ModelNumber) or 1 compund index on (RetailerID, ModelNumber, SKU)

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I would try the 2 compound indexes (because in some cases only one of the 2 would be useful) and rewrite the query with UNION. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Jan 2 '14 at 10:28
@ypercube . A UNION is almost always a bad idea in terms of performance – MichaelD Jan 2 '14 at 10:36
@ypercube, Thanks, what do you mean with UNION? – user960567 Jan 2 '14 at 10:45
@MichaelD I agree. This is one of the situations which I'd expect to fall in the "almost" case. And I don't mean that UNION is 100% the best approach here. But any way that can force the optimizer to use the 2 indexes might yield a more efficient plan. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Jan 2 '14 at 11:23
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd create a seperate index on SKU and ModelNumber. I don't think an index on RetailerID will do much good as there won't be many different retailers .

The best approach to analyze this is by comparing the execution plans & times of the different sets of indexes

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Thanks Micael. Can you explain a little more how to rewite this into UNION and why it is bed? – user960567 Jan 2 '14 at 10:53
You don't want to rewrite this in a union :) . Here's some more info about the union syntax: – MichaelD Jan 2 '14 at 10:58

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